Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made their first public appearances since announcing their decision to “step back” from royal duties, attending separate events thousands of miles away on Thursday.
As CNN reports, the Duke of Sussex hosted the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. He was joined by Dame Katherine Grainger, chair of UK Sport, and former England rugby player Jason Robinson.
Prior to the event, Harry had the opportunity to meet with some rugby-playing children. In typical royal fashion, Harry shook hands with the kids and exchanged pleasantries with them, gently ribbing some for not taking their practice session that day very seriously.
“Some of you are really warm… Some of you haven’t been running around,” he said.
The duke, an avid sportsman himself as well as Patron of the Rugby Football League, noted that rugby, and other sports, can add value to people’s lives.
“Not only do I continue to see sport actually changing lives, but it’s saving lives as well,” he said.
It’s been a sports-filled week for the duke, both behind the scenes and in front of crowds. Behind the scenes, on Thursday, he put his support behind an initiative to tie sports to mental health — two causes near and dear to him. That initiative is the Rugby League Mental Fitness Charter, which is intended to provide training for players, match officials, and volunteers to look after their mental health.
A day before, on Wednesday, Harry posted a video on the Sussex Royal Instagram account to announce the location of the next Invictus Games, another cause near and dear to his heart.
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Here we come Düsseldorf ????????! The new home for the 2022 and sixth Invictus Games. Having previously been held in London, Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, and upcoming The Hague this year in May – Düsseldorf will welcome over 500 competitors as they showcase their talents, determination and camaraderie to the world! The #InvictusGames is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by The Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick (WIS) armed services personnel and veterans show the world what they’re capable of in a series of adaptive sports, ranging from wheelchair basketball to indoor rowing. The Duke, having spent 10 years serving in the Armed Forces, set up the @WeAreInvictusGames to celebrate the power of sport rehabilitation (both physically and mentally) and to generate a wider appreciation for those who served their country beyond their time in uniform. Participating in the Games plays a significant part in the recovery journey of WIS Servicemen and women. It doesn’t just heal the individual, it heals the whole family. • “I hope everyone in Germany is ready for what will be an incredible week of sport! I have no doubt that the German public will get right behind these Games and that every single competitor can expect a warm welcome and an amazing atmosphere.” – The Duke of Sussex For more information of the announcement, visit https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/ig2022-announcement/ Video © @WeAreInvictusGames
Thousands of miles away, in Canada, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, also made a public appearance. On Tuesday, she visited a women’s center in Vancouver.
The days of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex making royal appearances will be coming to an end, although it’s anyone’s guess as to when that might be. Last week, the couple shocked the royal-watching world with their announcement that they’ll be resigning as senior members of the royal family, seeking their own “financial independence” and splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada.
Just this week, as reported by The Inquisitr, Harry and other key players in the monarchy held a meeting at Buckingham Palace to hash out the couple’s future. Meghan wasn’t there, although sources say that has less to do with the fact that she wasn’t invited and more to do with the fact that her presence was deemed “unnecessary.”
Fortunately for the couple, Queen Elizabeth gave the couple her blessing to pursue the next phase of their lives.